The gift and home industry were out in force at the Giftware Association's 2019 members day, held in the rolling hills of the East Midlands at the Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club. The day celebrated all that is great about the industry and its members, networking with industry peers and learning about the changes to our industry from social media, key high street stats and the importance of wellbeing and wellness in the workplace. The weather was also glorious enough to allow some al fresco lunch and networking on the terrace overlooking the greens.
The day started off with a welcome from Chair Jeremy Corner and CEO Sarah Ward, where they conducted the formal business of voting on Louise Welsby from Buy From creative agency and Julie Driscoll from ITE onto the National Committee. Other formal business consisted of Jeremy Corner being voted on for another year as Chair. This was followed by the informative Michael Weedon from Exp2 and former BIRA chair on the current state of the high street projecting an image of hope to the audience present, rather than the more common news stories of doom and gloom.
After a networking lunch where members could meet our service providers and other members in the industry, the day continued with David Glenwright from JC Social Media on new trends for social platforms and how to really promote your business to the right audience. Next on the agenda was a panel on well-being and wellness in the workplace, expertly chaired by Henri Davis and featuring Hollie Whittles from Fraggleworks, business psychologist Jess Baker and Helen Leathers, a transformational women's coach. The discussion focussed on how businesses can look after their staff's mental health and the best ways to go about setting up wellbeing schemes in the home and workplace.
After a short break, headline speaker Evan Lewis from Vent for Change concluded the day with his story of being an environmental conscious and green business, using recycled plastic to make pencils as well as donating 10 per cent of profits to global education projects and top tips on businesses in the room to “green” their own businesses, which is gaining traction in the giftware world.
Sarah Ward said: “The day was a great success and it was great to see so many new businesses on the day and really take something away from the day and listen intently to all the speakers. The speakers were great and offered real insights into their subjects, we are looking forward to putting on more multi-faceted events in the future with a selection of different speakers”
The attendees thoroughly enjoyed the day and the speakers, finding them informative and engaging as well as meeting like-minded businesses in our members and also our service providers.
“Geoff and I both thoroughly enjoyed the day. The speakers were thought provoking and we have come away with plenty to think about. We also really appreciated the welcoming atmosphere you created. It was great to meet more like-minded people in our industry and to feel that we can share the highs and lows of our business!” – Gibson Games
“Thank you for a great day at yesterday's AGM. I met some great new contacts within the industry and thought the speakers were fantastic and extremely engaging.” – Really Good